Re: GNOME Users Guide

I agree.  This sort of a UG, created by lumping the online help together,
should be retired and replaced by a more carefully crafted document.  
This probably won't happen until GNOME 2.0 (about 12 months from now or
more), although it is possible that we get it out somewhat earlier.  In
the mean time, this UG will satisfy an important need: We can place it
prominantly on the web page, allowing people to learn a lot about GNOME
without even installing Linux or GNOME. It is a also single document which
people can either browse through to learn more about GNOME in general, or
they can use it as a reference document as they do with the online help.

I know at least one person who has printed out the entire GNOME User Guide
and basically read it cover to cover when they started using GNOME and was
generally very happy with having learned GNOME this way.

So, I think in these ways the UG is actually quite valuable in its current
form, even though we tend to deprecate it.  For GNOME 2.0, we probably
want to tailor multiple documents to replace the UG, as Sasha has already
started doing in gnome-user-docs.

Generally, I think we will want to use this task oriented approach more in
our online documents and in the Users Guide.


On Thu, 15 Feb 2001, Alexander Kirillov wrote:

> For now, having scripts putting different manulas together is better
> than doing it by hand. So I'd be happy if Ian and Chhris make this
> happen. 
> In the long run, I am not so sure having users guide which is just the
> collection of manuals of different components lumped together is a
> good idea. Good UG should be more task oriented ("how do I do this in
> GNOME") and may omit details or some options which should go
> in on-line help (i.e., manuals as we have them now). There was a talk
> of writing such a users guide or rather a book for GNOME 2.0 - I think
> after 1.4 is out, we should return to this project. 
> Sasha
> On Wed, Feb 14, 2001 at 09:47:03PM -0800, Dan Mueth wrote:
> > 
> > I thought I'd add a bit more info here, in case people are curious what we
> > have in mind...
> > 
> > The problem with how we have done the GNOME User Guide in the past was
> > that we did it all by hand.  This meant that not only was it hard to
> > create, it was very hard to keep up to date and very hard for each of the
> > translation teams to reproduce.  It was basically impossible for
> > translators to keep up, since it was so much work.
> > 
> > The new proposed solution is to create some scripts which grab docs from
> > CVS and merge them together to produce a product similar to what we had in
> > the past, but to automate much of the work.  Once it is set up, doing it
> > for another locale or updating it is as simple as running the script.  It
> > is more up-front work, but should not be too bad for somebody who is good
> > at scripting.
> > 
> > Ian is working on the script, so if he doesn't run out of time or run into
> > too many problems, we should have something to work with in not too
> > long.  Chris is working on this with Ian.  Thanks to both of you.
> > 
> > Dan
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